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Woman Cooking Salad

How To Manage And Relieve Your Stress During A Pandemic

Amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, it’s no surprise that we’re all feeling a lot more stressed than usual. On top of working from home, taking care of our families/loved ones, and having to worry about an infectious virus that spreads easily, there seems to be no time to just take a minute and breathe. However, now that we’re all home for an indefinite amount of time, there’s never been a better time to practice effective ways of managing and relieving your stress levels. 

When we’re more aware of how stressed we become throughout the day, it’s much easier to figure out ways to combat those feelings and recognize them before it builds up into an overwhelming cloud of anxiety. Make a note of what things are triggering a stressful response in you everyday, and then try to work on those specific areas. While this can be as specific as receiving an email from one particular coworker who never gets anything done, there are a multitude of general ways to help separate ourselves from the situation and calm down. 

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Getting exercise or at least some sort of movement in everyday life is a requirement for being quarantined. Even if it just means going outside and walking a few laps in your backyard, it’s essential that you’re at least stepping outside, breathing in some fresh air, and stretching out your muscles and bones everyday. 

It can be so easy to get wrapped into binge marathons on Netflix, especially now, but we can’t get too comfortable with making that a habit. The more you’re sitting around and just watching mindless TV shows or movies, the more likely it is you’re going to put off the things you have to do which will only lead to even more stress being added onto your already full plate. 

Learn how to create boundaries between your work and personal life. This is imperative for those who are currently working remotely. It can be challenging to turn your work brain off and casual at-home brain on when you’re just home all the time. This is why it’s recommended that you set up your remote working station in an area of your home that’s as separated from the rooms that are known for inducing relaxation (such as the living or bedroom). 

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Another easy way of separating your work and personal life at home is to make sure you’re filling your personal time with activities that you want to and enjoy doing. This could include cooking, gardening, knitting, reading, and anything else that you consider relaxing. By filling your free time with things you want to do, and your work time with the things you have to do,  it’s easier for your brain to make that distinction, even if you are just moving from room to room everyday. 

Make sure you’re staying hydrated as well. Getting enough water everyday is obviously imperative for your physical health, but it also is for your mental health. According to Amanda Carlson, the director of performance at Athlete’s Performance, “studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol [stress hormone] levels. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that you drink one milliliter of water per each calorie of food consumed.”

Make lists of all your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. It’s easier to break down what you have to do for work, your family, and yourself when you have the general guideline in front of you. Daily duties can include things like returning emails, making phone calls, baking a cake for your brother’s birthday, etc. Weekly duties can include more generalized things such as going to the grocery store, ordering more dog food online, and basically anything else that isn’t an immediate need but should get done within a matter of days. Finally, monthly goals can more so pertain to you personally and how you’d like to see yourself grow in the near future, which includes managing your stress. This list can include things such as starting to exercise at least twice a week, or learning how to cook a new dish every week, etc. Have fun and be creative! This is your own personal list of goals, so make it personal. 

Finally, and arguable most importantly, you have to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep is one of the number one causes of stress, as we all know, when we’re tired, we’re a lot more irritable, which makes it so much easier for us to get stressed out. The Sleep Foundation recommends getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Try going to bed at the same time every night and turning off all your screens at least one hour before bed. This will start getting your body into a proper sleep schedule and can help ensure that once you’re asleep, you’ll stay asleep until the morning.

Millennials Buying Home

What To Do Before Buying A Home

With the current state of the world, buying a home is likely the last thing on your mind. However, with an ample amount of spare time on all of our hands, now is also the perfect time to start listing out your life goals and really break down what you need to do to accomplish them. Buying a home can be extremely stressful if you go into the process blind, so it’s important to do your research and know the basics of the industry before beginning your journey as a homeowner. 

The most important thing that you can do as a buyer is hiring the right real estate agent for you. You not only want someone you can trust, but who has experience with the housing market in the specific area that you’re moving too. Ask your friends and family for their recommendations and be sure to check as many online reviews from past clients as well, as those will offer the greatest insight. 

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The same way you want to ensure that you have a reputable and trustworthy real estate agent, you want to make sure you have the same for any builders, inspectors, and any other professional you’ll want to hire during this process. Builders especially can be hit or miss if they don’t have a lot of experience in the specific area you’re moving into. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been in the industry for ten years, every town has its own specific set of rules/regulations regarding home projects and renovations, so it’s important to hire someone who is equipped to abide by those guidelines while staying on budget; this is where customer reviews are yet again going to be your best friend. 

You also want a qualified inspector for the same exact reasoning. Especially if you’re buying a brand new home that’s never been lived in before, you want to ensure that all the inner workings of your future home is running smoothly and up to code. 

Once you have your agent, and you find a home that you’re interested in, do a walk through with your agent and make a list together of home improvements and projects that you’d like to see completed before you move in. If the current owner doesn’t want to budge on certain projects, this is where you and your agent can negotiate pricing.

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This list will also be beneficial for your home inspector, as they can enforce the current owners to complete certain projects if they’re going against any legal housing codes for the specific area. The inspector can also recommend you to reliable construction/renovation companies for whatever home improvements you may have to complete after the move. 

You can never visit a property too much, the only thing you have to worry about is someone else coming along and snatching it from under you before you even had the chance to make a decision. However, it’s important to visit a home a few times before making any final decisions. Try to do your walk throughs on days where the weather is different from your last visit. This way you can see how the landscaping fairs in different climate conditions, and also see how well things like heating/cooling in the house work. 

Finally, before you make any decisions, make sure you have a nice long talk with your agent and loved ones so that you can really break down every specific and clear up any confusion you may have. Remember, you hired your agent to be knowledgeable on all things real estate, so no question is too small or stupid when it comes to your future home.

Cleaning Appliances

How To Properly Clean Your Home Appliances

Now that we’re all spending an indefinite amount of time indoors, many are taking it upon themselves to deep clean their homes and begin spring cleaning a little early this year. Our kitchen appliances are often overlooked when it comes to our weekly household chores, so now’s a better time than ever to get into all those nooks and crannies of your space and give your kitchen a much deserved cleanse.

Many individuals don’t realize this, but the user manuals for all kitchen appliances actually have a section dedicated to proper cleaning/disinfecting techniques for your specific appliance. If you threw out the manual to any of your older appliances, don’t worry, most appliance manuals from any year should be available online on the brands website. It’s important to note that the more often you clean your appliances, the longer they’ll last.

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Your washing machine is something you probably never think to clean, since it’s job is to literally clean your clothes for you, however, most machines are already equipped with a cleaning or sanitizing cycle. If not, laundry detergent companies such as Tide sell washing machine cleaner that’s specifically designed for disinfecting your washing machine. You could also throw some vinegar or regular laundry detergent into your machine without any clothes actually in it, and then run a regular wash cycle. This will clean all the pipes and inner workings of your machine, and guarantees no harmful bacteria or germs stay behind for future loads.

Your dryer’s lint trap should obviously be cleaned with every single load to prevent any kind of fires or dust clogs. Wipe down the inside of your dryer’s door, and all of the little crevasses around the lint tray, this will ensure that you get every last bit of dust.

Dishwashers, like washing machines, are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning your home, as it’s function is literally to spray soap every load, so you’d assume it cleans itself as it cleans your dishes. However, you want to make sure that your dishwashers filter is staying just as clean as the surface of the machine itself. Many individuals aren’t even aware that they’re dishwasher has a filter that needs to be tended too, this is where your user manual is going to come in handy. Every dishwasher has a different kind of filter and filter placement, so look up your specific model and how to clean your specific filter. It likely will be as simple as taking the filter out and rinsing it under hot water.

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The refrigerator is actually one of the kitchen appliances that more times than not does get a cleaning every once in a while, as it should. It’s important that the machine that’s main purpose is to keep all your food fresh and cold is also sanitized and disinfected, to ensure the same for your food. Simply wiping down all of your refrigerators shelves with warm soapy water should do the trick and become a part of your regular cleaning routine.

Ovens are another device that sometimes have a self-cleaning option. Beyond that, to get all the built up gunk and burnt food particles from your stove, remove any metal on the stove top that has that ability, and take out your ovens shelving as well to make sure you’re able to clean every part of it. Oven cleaner works, and a homemade recipe of salt, baking soda and dish soap has been a staple trick for decades for cleaning out the oven.

So this year, while you’re spring cleaning your home, make sure to pay special attention to all of the appliances we use everyday, but always overlook when it comes to cleaning.

Woman on her Smartphone

How To Make Your Smartphone Run Faster And Live Longer

All smartphone users can relate to the experience of having your phone slow down or just stop working completely after you hit the two year mark with the device. iPhone/Android users especially know the pain of having your device crack under the pressure of storing all your photos and apps, leading to a reduced battery life, and less than enjoyable experience everyday. 

We need our phones for just about everything, so if you’re a smartphone user who’s noticed that your device has become much more slow/dies a lot easier than it used too, there are a few manual changes you can make that could help extend your phone’s life and avoid making another $500+ investment. 

The most basic fix that we’ve all tried is simply restarting your device. It may seem silly, but more times than not restarting any of your smart devices can help fix any bugs/issues you may be having. Simply quit every application and clear every notification from your phone and turn it off for at least 30 seconds; this gives your phone enough time to properly shut down every application. If you have a phone that’s lacking in storage when compared to other models, doing a weekly restart of your device has been proven to help your device’s performance and battery life. 

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Another simple solution is to check if your phone is due for any sort of software/app updates. A lot of smartphones have the option to automatically update your apps every time a new version is released. This is a smart function to have turned on, because when you have to update every app manually, you can forget to do it after a while and the more those updates build up, the slower your phone will become. 

The same can be said for software updates. One of the major benefits to any sort of system update on your devices is that every update is supposed to be designed to help your phone run smoother, and with less issues. Again, depending on your settings your phone may not notify you when a software update is available, so make sure you check that and update your device frequently. 

We use our phone’s everyday, and within those phone’s we all have a solid 5-10 applications that we all cycle through daily. Other than that we have a myriad of random games we downloaded on a whim one time, a few apps for specific doctors/services we use maybe once or twice a year so we can’t get ourselves to delete the app itself, and much more. Unused applications/old text messages are the two main killers of phone storage; besides photos, obviously. 

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The settings in your phone should tell you how often you use certain applications, and how much storage each one is taking up, so make some sacrifices and delete all the apps that you haven’t touched in more than a month. You can also change your settings to automatically delete your text messages if you haven’t gone back to a specific thread of messages for a certain amount of time. For example, you can set it so that your phone will delete any texting conversation if you or the other person hasn’t contacted the other within a week, two weeks, month, etc. 

As previously stated, besides messages and applications, photos take up the most amount of storage on a phone and they do it fairly fast. When your storage is full, your phone is likely to run a lot slower and run out of battery a lot quicker. It would be beneficial to you to own some sort of external hard drive or SD card to put all your photos on once you reach a high enough number. 

Obviously you can also upload all of your cell phones pictures to your computer as well, but an external hard drive will give you that additional layer of security. Services like Google Photos also offer free unlimited storage for photos if you have a google account. The Google Photos app automatically uploads every picture you take/save onto your device and makes it accessible for you anywhere you go where you have access to the internet/ability to sign into your Google account. 

So no matter what solution you try, make sure you do the research and truly exhaust all your options before biting the bullet and buying a new phone. More times than not, the solutions are indeed as simple as they sound and will work.

Girl with Clear Skin

Taking Care Of Your Skin During Quarantine

The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely caused a lot of stress for everyone. Between working from home, taking care of the family, staying healthy, active, and relaxed, there’s no way not to get overwhelmed. One of the parts of self-care that many individuals are forgetting about is taking care of our skin. In times of uncertainty and panic especially, our skin is more susceptible to inflammation, wrinkles, acne, and general damage. 

Studies have also shown that increased exposure to blue light emitted from laptops or cell phones can also dramatically alter our skin’s condition, especially if we’re not getting any sun exposure as well. So what can you do to ensure that your skin is staying just as healthy as you are during this pandemic?

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First, make sure you’re still sticking to a daily routine everyday and maintaining healthy eating/drinking habits. You should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water everyday, and eating a serving of fruits and vegetables as well. Remember, orange foods like carrots or oranges are great for the skin. 

Sticking to a routine is much less stressful than waking up everyday blind to what you’re going to need to get done by the end of the day. Stress is one of the leading causes of acne, inflammation, and any other kind of negative skin condition. It’s important to implement things into your everyday schedule that keep you relaxed and separated from all things work, family, and coronavirus. 

As previously mentioned, drinking water and hydration in general is extremely important in terms of skin care. However, when you drink water, it actually hydrates your skin last, and takes care of the rest of your body’s organs first, so you have to make sure your skin is getting all of the hydration it needs. One of the best ways to do this is with a simple sheet mask. 

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Many face masks are great for relaxing and improving skin conditions like pimples or scarring, however, in terms of hydration, sheet masks really are the best bet. Doing a sheet mask every three to four days will keep your skin glowing and hydrated, while also giving you an excuse to disengage from the world for 30 minutes. 

Even though we’re spending an excessive amount of time indoors, it’s imperative that you continue your daily skin care routines and are putting on an SPF every morning. So many individuals think that just because a SPF’s main purpose is to protect our skin from sun damage that we don’t have to put it on now that we’re all stuck inside. This couldn’t be more false. 

SPF in general helps improve skin conditions like hyper-pigmentation, inflammation, acne, acne scarring, etc. Beyond that, SPF’s have amazing anti-aging properties, and if you’re younger, using an SPF daily will help prevent premature aging. 

Along those same lines, your skin does actually need sun exposure. The sun provides extremely beneficial vitamins for our skin, assuming that you’re wearing sunscreen/SPF. So make sure you’re getting outside at least once a day for 30 minutes if the weather permits it. Your skin will not only thank you, but your mental health as well.

Meditation

Take Care Of Your Mental Health During This Pandemic With Some Mindful Meditation

If you’ve ever been curious about mindfulness exercises and meditation in general, now is literally the best time to learn more. It’s totally normal for all of us to feel stressed out and overwhelmed while we endure this pandemic, and during times of uncertainty it’s important that you remember to take care of yourself. Beyond your physical health and protecting yourself from becoming infected with the coronavirus, it’s important to work on your mental health as well. 

Daily meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels, and with countless free online apps and YouTube videos on the subject, there’s never been a better time to start. 

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“When you practice mindfulness meditation, you focus on being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and/or your physical sensations with openness and curiosity, and without judging or evaluating what you notice. You begin by finding a comfortable, upright position, where your body feels alert and relaxed. Then you bring your attention to the sensation of your breath. When you notice that your mind has wandered, which it will, you gently bring your attention back to the sensation of the breath,” said Jamie Price, co-founder and president of Stop, Breathe & Think, an “emotional wellness and mindfulness platform that offers guided meditation and activities, including breathing exercises, acupressure, and more.”

Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that exclusively focuses on breathing. This is the most common form of meditation, as it’s meant to “anchor” the practicing individual in the present moment while removing any outside distractions regarding the current status of the world, troubles from the past, and fears for the future. The focus of meditation in general is to really clear your mind and place yourself in the present moment, which is why mindfulness meditation is all about being aware enough to control your thinking and focus it exclusively on the current moment, while also being unaware of how relaxed and stagnant you’ve become. 

The best part about making the choice to start meditating is that it doesn’t require any fancy gym equipment or advanced knowledge in order for you to do it. You can literally start practicing anywhere at any time, and now that we all are stuck inside for an indefinite amount of time, you can start practicing mindfulness exercises all over the house. 

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Find a quiet place to sit and relax. Price recommends trying to return to the same spot in your home everyday at the same time to really get yourself into a routine. After a while, your brain will begin to associate that spot with relaxation and isolation from the outside world of scary pandemics and uncertainty. 

Price also emphasized that you shouldn’t get discouraged if your mind begins to wander a lot, especially if you’re a beginner. Remember that your goal isn’t to stop all of your thoughts, but rather to focus on the present moment and strengthen your ability to watch your thoughts as they come and go without any further acknowledgement. 

“It’s the difference between standing on a riverbank watching the river flow by, as opposed to jumping in and trying to reverse the flow. Rather than getting frustrated, try to view it as a great opportunity. No matter how little or how often your mind wanders, each time you become aware of your mind wandering and choose to bring your attention back to your breathing, you are strengthening your awareness — your mindful muscles,” Price said. 

It’s important that we all are focusing just as much on our mental health as we are our physical health during this pandemic. Take at least 15 minutes everyday to just sit down with yourself and breathe. Put away all your devices, sit on the front lawn and take in the sun and fresh air. There’s never been a better time to center yourself in the present and remember that this too shall pass.

Woman Donating Blood

What You Need To Know About Donating Blood During A Pandemic

This week, the American Red Cross reported that the country is facing an extreme shortage in blood supply. Following an unprecedented amount of blood drive cancellations due to Covid-19 concerns, the Red Cross has received almost 90,000 fewer blood donations within the past month. Even though blood drives may not be a current reality, it’s imperative that people continue to donate their blood when they can, as patients suffering from the virus rely on it.  

“It’s crucial that people continue to donate blood, especially right now. The large drives that have been canceled by companies, universities, and high schools typically support our blood supply and this has resulted in decreased blood components available for the hospital. The issuing of more shelter-in-place orders continues to reduce the donors we need to support our national blood supply, [but] you can still go out and give blood. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement,” said Dr. Kimberly Sanford, President-Elect of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and director of transfusion medicine.

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One of the most commonly asked questions regarding blood donation during this pandemic is if one has to be tested for Covid-19 beforehand, and the answer is no. Before you’re even able to donate you have to fill out a screening test that will ask questions regarding your health, possible exposure to Covid-19, potential symptoms you’ve been experiencing, etc. Obviously, if you’ve been even slightly symptomatic, you shouldn’t risk donating, so the test is more to double-check. 

When it comes to the actual process of donating your blood during a pandemic, rest assured that most blood collection agencies should have several steps in place to ensure that both donors and employees are completely safe during the entire ordeal. Employees who are involved in blood collection have now been required to take their temperatures daily, while also wearing protective gear during the parts of the process that require the donor and employee to be within six feet of each other; otherwise the two individuals will remain distant.  

In addition to the normal health and safety procedures that these blood collection services abide by, employees are also implementing intense disinfecting procedures to their equipment; even the things that donors never make contact with. It’s also important to note that you don’t need to know your blood type when you donate, as the collection agencies are able to determine that after the fact. 

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You have to be at least 17-years-old in the United States to donate blood, however, some states such as California let 16-year-olds donate with parental consent. There’s also no age limit to how old an individual can be to donate, as long as you’re healthy. There is, however, a weight requirement of weighing at least 110 pounds to donate, and this is more in the interest of the donor themselves. 

Other restrictions previously stated that gay men were not able to donate blood if they had sex with another man within 12 months of donating, however, they’ve relaxed that rule to three months now, which has put the American Red Cross under quite a bit of fire.

The FDA has also loosened its regulations regarding tattoos and piercings for donation. Previously, you had to wait a year after getting a new piercing and/or tattoo before you could donate, but they’ve moved that down to three months now as well. 

If you aren’t sure where you can donate blood, visit the American Red Cross website and enter in your zip code to find a blood drive location near you. Healthy individuals are able to donate blood every 56 days, but if you’re donating platelets you can donate every seven days as well. So if you have the means to, call the Red Cross or visit their website today to see what your donation options are. 

Bedroom Decor

Tips For Redecorating Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is the most personal and intimate space in your house, so it’s important that you feel completely at ease every time you’re in it. This is where you go to recharge, unwind after a long day, and are meant to feel the most yourself, and now that all of our bedrooms are seeing a lot more of us due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s never been a better time to revamp your space to ensure that it’s exactly how you want it, especially since we’re all going to remain indoors for an indefinite amount of time. 

One thing that personally makes my room feel like a relaxing oasis completely separated from the daily stresses of living during a pandemic, is having an obscene amount of pillows on my bed. Having multiple pillows of different sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns will not only give you more options for back support when you’re just vegging out in bed, but also will add a much more cozy feeling to your space. 

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Decorating your walls with artwork and posters that are specific to your personality is what makes your room truly yours. Instead of going online and buying a painting from your favorite vacation spot, try to make your own first! Creating your own art for your room, or home in general, will not only make your space more custom, but also will give you something to do everyday while stuck indoors. 

Don’t be afraid of patterns when it comes to your bedding or any other smaller pieces of furniture in your room (ex: a reading chair or accent rug). Patterns give the eye a focal point when you’re in a certain space, so if your bedding has really intricately designed roses all over it, your eyes are likely going to be drawn to that, which also means you don’t have to do a lot more in terms of interior design. You never want a space to become too busy with different patterns and colors, as that can make one feel overwhelmed in their own room. 

If you’re more of a simple bedding type of person, however, then another area where you can incorporate prints and different patterns in your room would be on the accent pieces. Things like lamp-shades, flower vases, curtains, etc. all have the potential to brighten up dull parts of your space with colorful patterns. 

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If you really want to make your space comfortable, you need comfortable elements within it. This means plenty of blankets to snuggle up with, and maybe a down comforter for ultimate fluffiness while you dream. 

As I previously mentioned, the personal elements in your room are what make it really feel like it’s your space, and also help you relax more! So reveal a personal side in the way you design your room, whether it be as simple as hanging a few family photographs, or painting an entire piece of furniture, really make the elements yours. 

Another way that you can make your room feel personal is by ignoring traditional rules for design and what you think other people would like. I always fall into the trap of trying to rearrange my space to adhere to HGTV design show standards, however, I’m not a professional interior designer, so why act like it when it comes to changing up my space? If you want to arrange your furniture in a way that’s “off-centered” or crowded up together in a corner, then that’s your prerogative! Again, your space is meant to be a place of peace and relaxation for you and you only. So do whatever you need to do to make it feel like that. 

Working from Home Office

How To Set Up Your New Home Office

Now that a majority of us are working remotely from home, it’s important to set up the right space for yourself at home so that you’re still able to separate yourself from the professional world and your personal one. This is much easier said than done, especially considering your professional world is now occurring literally inside of your personal space. However, there are still little things you can do for yourself in your new “home office” that will make coping with this pandemic a little bit easier.

First, the basics, you need to find a space that’s quiet and separated from your living room or bedroom. You also will need a flat surface to act as your new desk, this is why many people choose the dining room, as they have a huge table to spread out their things. Regardless, you want a space that also has some kind of window or natural lighting if your home allows it, this way you also don’t feel even more suffocated as you cope with this quarantine.

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It’s hypocritical for me to tell you not to work on the couch in order to avoid falling into habits of laying down and watching TV, as I’m currently writing this from my couch with my desktop computer propped up on a TV dinner table, however, at the same time I can tell you from this first-hand experience that if I had a real desk right now, getting my work done wouldn’t feel as tortuous.

Ideally, you want to be sitting in a proper chair with back support that forces your legs to run parallel to the floor while your feet touch the ground. This is the best position for your posture and will ensure that you aren’t constantly slouching over; by the way if you’re reading this, pause and make sure you’re not slouching, and maybe get up to stretch for a minute, it’s important to keep your blood flowing.

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If you’re working on a desktop computer, making sure your monitor is at eye-level is much easier than if you’re doing your work on a personal laptop. If you do have to use a laptop of any kind, try to prop it up on some hardcover books or maybe a box so that the screen is eye-level. To re-emphasize my point before about sitting properly, when your line of vision is directed downwards so that you can view your screen, your body is automatically going to begin leaning forward and towards the screen as an involuntary response to see it better. Keeping your eyes forward and head up will keep you back straight, and your eyes focused.

Finally, make sure you’re getting up and moving throughout the day. Take snack breaks and move around your house. It can become infuriating to stay in the same place all day every day, and even though you and your house have already become very accustomed to one another within these past few weeks, it’s important to move around your space.

Going to work everyday would normally give us a reason to get up at an earlier hour, get ourselves together and motivated to do what we need to do in order to come back home and unwind at the end of the day. Now that we not only are able to sleep in more, stay in sweats while sending our morning emails and not move from our couches for hours at a time everyday, it can become easy for us to get trapped in cycles of feeling depressed and like life has become mundane. This is why it’s important to stay moving, and active in our personal time, while creating a stress-free at-home-office environment during our professional time.

Girl Doing Yoga Pose

How To Start Practicing Healthy Habits In Quarantine

Now that we’re all spending an indefinite amount of time in quarantine and isolation, it’s important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits that we can continue on into our everyday lives when this entire pandemic is over. One of the easiest ways to incorporate healthier habits within your life is to try to repeat it everyday at the same time in a typical routine fashion, and since we’re all remaining in our homes, we now have an extensive amount of time to create these routines. 

Routines in general are really important, especially when it comes to blending your professional life with your home life in times of remote isolation. Waking up at the same time as you normally would for work, and setting up designated times for meals and other everyday chores is important for keeping yourself organized, and your mind more at ease.

It can be extremely easy to get overwhelmed during this pandemic, and understandably so, so when you give yourself an organized daily schedule, it eases the anxiety of needing to map out the many things you have to do during a given day. Instead, you know what needs to get done when, and you can work on sticking to that and creating that new at-home schedule for yourself. 

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Healthy habits that you can start incorporating into your every day routine that will help keep your mind, body and soul stay happy and healthy include getting exercise daily, eating fresh food/fruits and vegetables, doing yoga/meditation/mindfulness exercises that can give you positive affirmations everyday, and reducing overall screen times; which I’m sure we’ve all been over-indulging in the past few weeks. 

To make incorporating these habits into your routine easier, start small, and practice the new habit at the same time everyday, make sure you’re writing it into your schedule as well. Visually seeing something like “Yoga at 6 p.m.” written out on a physical schedule will motivate you more to actually do it, as the satisfaction of checking off all your “to do “ boxes everyday is just too good of a pleasure to deny yourself. 

Start by also setting small goals for yourself to incorporate these habits. For example, you could make it a personal goal to not check your phone for the first hour of your morning and instead just focus on yourself and getting ready for the day. With constant coronavirus updates clogging every feed on the internet, getting overwhelmed just by unlocking your phone has never been easier, so make it a point to step outside of that digital world as much as you can. 

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Write down your goals as they develop more and more within your routine. Maybe you start by writing the goal to not check your phone for one hour in the morning, and then later you extend that to include one hour before bed as well, and then one hour in the middle of the day, and so on. Like having a physical schedule written out in front of you can help ease your organizational anxiety, actually writing out these goals can make them seem much less scary. 

This is because once you have the general goal on paper, you can create sub-goals within that new habit that will help you to accomplish it. Be consistent about it, repetition builds habits and trains your brain to view whatever activity/habit/goal you’re working towards as much more feasible, and as time goes on you’ll eventually get to a place where you feel unsettled if you miss your daily yoga because of how consistently you’ve been doing it. 

If you mess up and miss a few days, or procrastinate all week on one assignment, or even spend 48 hours binge watching The Office, don’t judge yourself. This pandemic is new territory for all of us, and frankly, no one really knows what’s going on at all times, so find the comfort in the fact that we’re all in this together and just figuring out quarantine life as we go.